Jonathan’s Child Care Ministries – Sierra Leone
Reunification. I know it can be a scary word. To our children, sponsors, and even to me reunification can be a challenging process. However, God works through challenging situations and I believe this is in the long term best interest of our children.
Family, it is something I dream for all of our children to be a part of. Although JCCM is beautiful and one of a kind, I know God designed the traditional family unit for a reason. Just like for each of us sometimes family is dysfunctional and sometimes it doesn’t look exactly like we want it too, but it is still our family. I want our children to experience that connection and after several years of personally praying about this I know that its Gods heart. Family will look different for each one of our children, but it is one of our top priorities within the orphanage home. Some children have found family through adoption, some with their biological parents, and some with relatives. We are committed to serving our children from within their own family unit, continuing to invest in their education and spiritual development. What this means is that our children will have 2 families, one in the more traditional sense and one at JCCM!
When Jonathan’s House first started serving, post war, in Sierra Leone there was an immediate need for orphanages. The country was in crisis mode and many children had been displaced from their families. Sierra Leone has made leaps and bounds in the right direction and today stands a very different country than it was 20 years ago. JCCM still has an important role to play in the community, but as the community has evolved we also must evolve.
Here are a few reasons why we are moving towards Reunification:
- Its Required – Social welfare in Sierra Leone is run by UNICEF policies, one of those being the reunification of all children 15 and older. There is a need for children to know how to function within their community and the best way for them to learn that is by being a part of it.
- We know that Sierra Leonean children raised in Sierra Leonean families have the best opportunities to grow into the adults who will be leaders and prophets in their own country, particularly when we continue to offer the same support we have in our group home.
- We do not want families to feel they have to send their children to an orphanage to ensure a child gets the education, food, or medicine they need to survive.
- A lot of prayer and discernment has gone into deciding how to do reunifications and when to do them. We strongly believe that family is Gods’ heart.
One thing I have wrestled with over the past year is the balance between wanting my children to have the very best at JCCM and knowing that they should be connected to their family. After a lot of prayer my conclusion is that any child that comes through JCC, whether for a month or 10 years, is forever mine. Just because a child is reunified with their family does not mean we, JCCM, are not responsible for their continued success. We have created a reunification plan to engage the family on a new level and guarantee that we continue to have numerous touch points with our children.
- Children of any age can be reunified if a family member is identified to care for them.
- A proper investigation will be done during the intake and reunification by the JCCM social worker so that we can properly understand each child’s specific situation.
- No child will be reunified outside of Bo, the city that JCCM is located in.
- Children will attend our JCCM School on campus. Our plan is to build a high school on campus so that we can better educate our children and directly monitor how they are doing.
- Children and families are encouraged to attend our church on campus. We know that teaching our children the true Gospel and living it out with them every day is JCCM’s most important mission.
- In addition to checking on our children on campus, each child will have an official visit from the Social Worker and their home and random visits. We have a standard of care that we want for our children and will walk with their families to ensure that is provided.
- Each child will be financially supported based on the needs of the family. Identifying the exact need is done in partnership with a focal agency and the Ministry of Social Welfare in Bo. We will provide medical care, education, a monthly stipend, and anything else deemed necessary to make the reunification process run smoothly for the child.
Above all things I believe in the power of God to restore families and continue to transform the country of Sierra Leone. I know that families can be reunited and bonds can be formed. I trust Gods sovereignty every step of the way. With Him all things are possible.
In light of this truth we praise God because our children who were recently reunified have been regularly attending bible studies, church, and choir practice. We are working on staying strong as a family. We are what we do together not where we live.
If anyone has any questions about reunification or a specific child please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (786) 303-0081. For those of you who sponsor children, you will be receiving an update in the month of October on your child both within the orphanage and those living outside of it.
For the Children,
*Children pictured are just beautiful and not specifically ones that have been reunified*
JCCM SCHOOL UPDATE
Most students go to school assuming they will be taught, but we were the only school in Bo to have made it through 100% of our schedules lessons for the week. This means our students have a much better chance of completing our syllabus and will be better prepared for exams. All part of our goal to be the best school in Bo! Help improve education by sponsoring a student today!
How: Sponsorship match up of $10 a month for all 325 children that attend our school. So far we have 6 children sponsored!
What: This will allow us to train some of our current teachers, higher some new better teachers, and motivate our staff with high salaries.
When: The goal is to have all children sponsored by October so we can begin the new school year on the right track.
Give: Online at http://tiny.cc/JCCMEducation or
By Mail- Checks can be made out to Acts 2 Collective and mailed to 6095 NE Industry Drive Des Moines, IA 50313 with JCCM Education in the memo.
*Some banks will allow you to set up an automatic donation via check if you want to send it monthly.
Every sponsor will be matched with a student and receive a photo with their name and grade over the next month. If you have any questions please contact International Director, Ashley Caycedo, at (786) 303-0081 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support and prayers for each one of our children!